Off the Menu Special: Food and Wine are Perfect Pairings at Charity Events

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Laura Wise (right) at the Pacific Coast Wine Festival
Laura Wise (right) at the Pacific Coast Wine Festival

By Christopher Trela & Catherine Del Casale

Food and wine are perfectly paired with philanthropy at two charity events coming up next month. One is focused on vino, the other on cuisine. Having attended both events every year, we know how much fun they are, and also how important they are for raising funds for local nonprofit organizations.

Pacific Coast Wine Festival

Eight years ago, the founders of the Pacific Coast Wine Festival were practically begging wineries to pour at their event. Now, they’re turning wineries away because so many are clamoring to introduce their wines to the hundreds of wine aficionados that have helped make the Pacific Coast Wine Festival one of the most popular fundraisers for the Pacific Symphony.

“We have become one of the premier wine events in California,” noted Pacific Symphony Board Chairman Mike

Silent auction at Pacific Coast Wine Festival
Silent auction at Pacific Coast Wine Festival

Kerr of Balboa Island, one of the event’s founders. “You’d have a hard time finding another one with the caliber of wine that we have. The event is really about wine. About 70 percent of our attendees have no affiliation with the symphony, and that’s what is exciting. This is a chance to diversify our donor base, and have people donate in a painless way. You’re buying a ticket to a beautiful wine tasting and dinner, and bidding on great wine.”

Now in its eight year, PCWF raised $372,000 last year alone. Always popular and filled with one-of-a-kind experiences, this year’s live auction offers exclusive wine vacations to the vineyards of Italy, Oregon, Napa and Santa Barbara, as well as the opportunity to own two highly coveted wines by Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Montrachet.

Pacific Coast Wine Festival
Pacific Coast Wine Festival

This year’s event is held at the Island Hotel in Fashion Island on March 7 and begins at 5 p.m. with guests strolling through multiple rooms while enjoying appetizers and sampling wines from more than 20 vintners including Barons de Rothschild (Lafite), Bodegas Catena Zapata, Bodegas Vega Sicilia, Chateau La Fleur Morange St. Emilion, Chȃteau Monbrison Margaux, d’Arenberg, EnRoute, Far Niente, Herb Lamb, John Duval, Leeuwin Estates, Lewelling, Loring Wines, Merus Wines, Nickel & Nickel, and O’Shaughnessy.

The silent auction also begins at 5 p.m. and features an impressive variety of wine lots and other items.

At 7:15 p.m., guests will experience a five-course feast (prepared by the Island Hotel’s Executive Chefs David Man and Marc Johnson) served with wine. The entrée is a pan-roasted filet of beef with custard potatoes, leeks and truffles topped with port wine sauce. Dessert is a chocolate salted caramel bombe and berry coulis.

Along with the extravagant dinner, guests will enjoy live music as cellists from Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles perform “The Final Countdown.”

After dinner, it’s time for a live auction. Italy’s most-famous winemaking family, Antinori, has donated a private tour and wine tasting at their vineyard in Bargino. This excursion includes an overnight stay at the estate of Villa Tignanello to enjoy a dinner at the famous Michelin-starred Osteria di Passignano, and concludes with two nights at the Tombolo Talasso Resort and Spa. Other auction items include a trip to Napa on a private jet with two other couples, courtesy of Regency Air, a tour through Oregon’s wine country, and a stay at the oceanfront Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara.

Tickets are on sale for starting at $375 per person. Table sponsorships are available.

This year’s festival is once again co-chaired by PCWF’s co-founders, Michael Kerr, Fred Salter and Valerie Van de Zilver. The Magnum sponsor is Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin Newport Beach.

For more information or to reserve a table, please contact Pacific Symphony’s special events department at (714) 876-2364 or [email protected]

Visit PacificCoastWineFestival.com for additional details.

Chef Pascal Olhats of Café Jardin and Chef Mickey Mouse
Chef Pascal Olhats of Café Jardin and Chef Mickey Mouse

Table for 10

The Illumination Foundation’s “Table for 10” culinary event, held March 15, features 34 of OC’s top chefs creating lavish dinners for tables of 10 guests in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel ballroom.

But these are not just any dinners. Each chef prepares the entire meal tableside using cooking apparatus that has been set up especially for this event. Wine is paired with each course, and each table is uniquely decorated by each restaurant.

The evening includes a cocktail reception and silent auction, and a live

Newport Beach chefs participating in Table for 10
Newport Beach chefs participating in Table for 10

auction showcasing dining experiences, luxury goods and trips.

Founded in 2008, Illumination Foundation’s mission is to provide targeted, interdisciplinary services for the most vulnerable homeless clients to break or prevent the cycle of homelessness.

Host chefs are Disneyland Resort Executive Chef, Andrew Sutton, and Disneyland Resort Chef de Cuisine Resort Banquets, Ralph Stuhlmueller.

Participating Chefs from Newport Beach restaurants include Vincent Lesage & Rachel Haggstrom of 1221Prime, Balboa Bay Resort & Spa; Brian Doherty of Bambu, Fairmont Newport Beach; Stephen Kling of Five Crowns; Ryan Pitt of Lark Creek; Andy Arndt of Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa; Pascal Olhats of Café Jardin and Pascal; David Fernandez, Toshi Miura & Peter Petro of Ten Asian Bistro & Bosscat; Jimmy Chang of Tommy Bahama Island Grille; Louie Jocson of Zov’s Bistro.

Table for 10 tickets are $500 per person. Table sponsorships are available. Visit ifhomeless.org or call (949) 273-0555.

 

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